Harvard and Stanford, among many other colleges, suggest that GAP Years lead to “uniformly positive” results (Harvard) and bring “viewpoints that further enrich our student body (Stanford). I am a big fan of the gap year. While I have worked with several thousand college bound students from Connecticut, I have helped structure only a few dozen gap years.
A relatively new gap year experience, “Uncollege” caught my attention. The program structures a gap year with fellow gap year students. That alone makes the program attractive. Gap years without socialization are a challenge. The structure of the program consists of 4 phases: Voyage, Launch and Internship. During Voyage, students spend 3 months in either India, Bali, or Mexico doing volunteer work. During Launch, students spend a few months in the San Francisco area with other Uncollege Fellows engaging in workshops and other interactive learning opportunities. While this phase is not exactly similar to a college experience, it is the most similar. Internship is the final phase. Students spend several months working with one of Uncollege’s partner companies. The price tag: $16,000. While that’s relatively a lot of money for most people on Earth, it is relatively small investment for parents who will spending $250,000 for college.